The Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) has a project that might be a way for local communities to get help for broadband expansion planning..
CURA has two CBR programs, the Community Assistantship Program, which serves greater Minnesota, and the Kris Nelson Community-Based Research Program, which serves the seven-county Twin Cities metropolitan area. Both programs match the research and technical needs of organizations with student research assistants to carry out community-defined and guided projects. Both provide graduate or undergraduate student assistance for applied research projects, program planning and development, program evaluation,* and other short-term projects. Student assistantships are generally 200 hours (10 hours per week) during spring or fall semesters, and 260 hours (20 hours per week) during summer.